And now the next episode in the bizarro reality show that is Sean Avery: Image Rehabilitation. (Also known as Career Salvation.)
What other choice is there? The Stars don't want him back. No one will trade for him (except Tampa maybe, they take everybody!) Even the minor league teams Dallas would love to send him to are turning their backs (How far have you fallen when the Manitoba Moose want no part of you?)
So the only option left is self re-invention.
The anger-management counseling is a start. Though if Avery were a rock or movie star (which he apparently believes he is), his next move would be to check into some faux-rehab clinic (Foot-In-Mouth Addiction?), then do Oprah, People Magazine, and pronounce himself a changed man.
Sadly, Oprah has never heard of hockey, and People has Britney booked for the next six covers. So with nowhere else to turn, a desperate Avery calls the one guy who might be able to help him out:
Somewhere in Russia, a cell phone rings.
Ray Emery: "Ugghh…Uh…What the…Where am I…Uhh…Hel…lo?"
Avery: "Oh Geez, sounds like I woke you up. Sorry man. Is it the middle of the night in Russia?"
Ray (rolls over and looks at clock): "Nah, its noon. Oh crap, did I miss practice?!? Wait…oh ya…day off…Phewww. Hey, who is this anyway?"
Avery: "It's Sean."
Emery: "Shean Donovan! Great to hear from a Sen! I knew one of you would call me eventually! It only took…seven months. Wassup!?! You guys miss me don'tcha? I bet Alex Auld's suits are weak, right? No way could that dude pull off a top hat!
Avery: "No…no. It's Sean AVERY! But you're right about the suits. I interned at Vogue, Ray. They even talk about you duds there."
Emery: "Oh, that Sean Avery! Good to hear from you. How are your Rangers doing?"
Avery: "Uhh…Yeah…I actually signed with Dallas last summer."
Emery: "Oh…Sorry. I don't get much NHL news over here. How's Melrose doin' in Tampa, by the way? He's one cool cat. He'll do really well there. Anyways, Dallas, eh? Good for you! It must be nice to get out of that media spotlight in NYC. You know, somewhere you can keep a nice low profile, stay out of trouble."
Avery: "Uhh, yeah, well about that…"
Emery: "Oh-oh. What happened? You wave your stick in front of a goalie again to screen him? I thought that was hilarious, dude! Though just to be clear, I would have speared you in the groin."
Avery: "Nah, it wasn't that. I just made a little joke…tried to get under Phaneuf's skin…it didn't quite get the reaction I was hoping for."
Emery: "That's all?"
Avery: "Basically. Oh, there were a couple of other little things. I ripped the NHL and most of its stars. I didn't really talk to anyone all year in the dressing room. I didn't listen to my coaches. And I pretty much turned into the worst free agent signing in history. But that's about it. And now get this! For some bizarre reason, my teammates don't want me back! And nobody in the league will trade for me, either."
Emery: "Been there."
Avery: "Yeah, that's why I called. What did you learn from your…umm…problems in Ottawa?"
Emery: "Well, let's see. I learned that I need an alarm clock with an amplifier. And I learned that there are some bad freakin' drivers in that city, dude! How hard is it to pull over when a Hummer's coming up your freakin'…"
Avery (interrupting): "No, no…I mean what did you learn about yourself? Because I hear you're playing great in Russia and behaving well, and that you'll probably be back in the NHL soon."
Emery: "Oh. Wow. Tough one. I really just came here for the hot Russian swimsuit models and the fur coats. They have some sick furs here, bro!"
Avery: "Really? I'm in! You should see the shades I wore at my hearing with Bettman! P-I-M-P baby!
Emery: "Sweet! Well, maybe you should come here. Trust me, one trouble-free season in Russia, and no one will remember any of the bad stuff you did before."
Avery (excited): "Really, no one?
Emery: "Okay, Phaneuf might."
- From The Ottawa Citizen